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The Supreme Court of Canada has just released an important decision dealing with how assets and property should be divided when common law spouses separate.
In Ontario, the Family Law Act governs the division of property that is brought into a marriage or acquired by spouses. The Act sets out a formula that dictates how the division is to be calculated, a process called the “equalization of Net Family Property”.
Once two spouses decide to separate, certain questions arise immediately: How does the property they owned together get divided? Is it necessary to sell the matrimonial home? How are pensions and inheritances dealt with?
After a marriage ends, the division of property is largely governed by the Ontario Family Law Act, which provides that in general the property is to be equally divided, subject to certain exceptions.